Exploring Glencoe

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

We recently went on a last minute adventure to Glencoe during our October holidays. Two years ago, we explored here for the first time and it made us realise how lucky we are to live in Scotland. We chose to re-visit here as it is one of the most scenic and breathtaking drives amongst all the rugged mountains and wildlife on your doorstep it really is a must see destination. Below, I will outline our trip from the beautiful dog friendly accommodation to the munro climbing adventures and beyond.

Dog Friendly Accommodation

Hollybank Cottage, Glen Etive

We were super lucky to come across last minute availability during the school holidays (I would always suggest booking in advance to ensure you get booked in, I'm just a very last minute kind of person!) Our first two nights were spent in the most idyllic secluded cottage and when I say secluded ... it is located down a 13 mile single track road although not just any road, the beautiful Glen Etive. As you drive along this road there are deer roaming wild and they are extremely friendly (this is due to tourists feeding them which Is advised against). It really is a magical drive and one like no other, as you approach the cottage you also meet the beginning of Loch Etive. The cottage is dog friendly and there is a large kennel outdoors for the dogs too. We arrived in rutting season which meant we could hear all the stags, it really was a spectacular sound. If you would like a relaxing break with views from a bedroom balcony some can only dream of alongside a cosy log burning stove in the living area then this cottage is for you. One thing to note, there is no wifi available in this cottage and rare phone signal although this made the trip even more special for us being able to shut off from the busy world completely was a luxury in itself.

Aos Si Lodges

Our second stay was in a luxurious cabin in the heart of Glencoe. I was so happy to have found this cabin as it is rare luxury cabins are dog friendly and this one was! We booked a one night stay in one of the most relaxing little cabins we have ever stayed in with their supering beds, roll top bathtub and electric fire to keep warm it was perfect. We were shocked to see little added extras such as coffee, hot chocolate, tea and a small fridge. As you open the front door you look down on to the beautiful loch and you are surrounded by woodland, it really is an enchanting place to be. We ventured down to the loch which was a two minute stroll and to our surprise we were greeted by two beautiful seals! For dinner we ventured in the car for five minutes into Glencoe to a restaurant called 'The Gathering' , we were able to get a takeaway from here and It was delicious! If you are looking for a little bit of luxury and well needed relaxation, this is the place for you.

Our Adventures in Glencoe

We love exploring and hiking and this place is by far one of the best places to do both of these. If you are like us and are not afraid of heights then here are two of the Peaks/Munro's we conquered!

The Pap of Glencoe

This hill may be a baby compared to some of the surrounding mountains however it is still a hard climb with some of the best views over Loch Leven and the giant peaks of the Mamores, Ben Nevis and down to Loch Linnhe at the gateway of Glencoe. It stands at 2432 ft / 742m high and you will need hillwalking gear and be prepared for the weather to change in a heartbeat – mist, fog and rain can sweep in quickly off the west coast of Scotland. Make sure you are prepared. This hike takes around 3-5 hours depending on ability. I would highly recommend doing this and the rewards from the tough climb are the stunning views.

Buachaille Etive Beag

We decided to challenge ourselves to climb a local munro ( we have climbed 10 so far ) and we thought now would be a good time to attempt one in the Glencoe area. We chose this one as it stated there was a well made path which is always a bonus when climbing a munro. If you go on to the walk highlands website it will guide you through the route and also enable you to download the route if you have no signal (this is a must when climbing - always be prepared). This munro took us 4 hours altogether however if you tackle the second munro joining on it will take up to 6 hours. The ascent up the mountain is well paved although mostly steps which can be strenuous and these went steeply up the mountain for around 2 miles. We always take little energy snacks and a flask of coffee to break up the climb and there were plenty of little spots to stop and sit whilst enjoying the breathtaking views of the surrounding monstrous mountains. Once we reached the summit the views were unbelievable although not for the faint hearted if you do not like heights! We could see down to Glen Etive and Loch Etive and it was magical some of the families at the top were sitting having a picnic ( we were extremely lucky with the weather and no winds which is very rare at the summit ). I would say if you are well prepared for all weathers with appropriate footwear and clothing and you love hiking, this is a must for the scenery and the achievement of climbing this peak is well rewarded standing tall at 958m over the valley.

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